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Concerns Rise Over Potential Foreign Policy Shift



South Africans fear a drastic foreign policy shift once a new ruling elite emerges from the pending polls, especially towards Israel. Political commentators believe South Africa’s foreign policy could drastically change if the DA and its Multiparty Charter partners win the May 29 election.

Speaking in a panel discussion at the last series of Election Dialogues at the Wits School of Governance in Parktown, a senior research fellow at the Trade Collective Lebohang Pheko, said there would be a clear departure from the current policy as most of the Multiparty Charter members tend to sympathise with Israel.

“I can guarantee you that there could be a major foreign policy shift if the DA and its Multiparty Charter members were to win the election and succeed in forming a coalition government. There are no ambiguities regarding where the DA stands when it comes to issues that affect Israel, in as much as there are none when it comes to the ANC, EFF, and all those organisations aligned with the ANC, particularly those that waged the liberation struggle alongside it,” Pheko said.

A senior programme officer at International Idea, Olufunto Akinduro, echoed Pheko’s sentiments. She said if there was a change of government, there was a substantial likelihood of a vast foreign departure by the new government, similar to what is witnessed today in other African states.

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“There is a growing number of African countries that are now clearly aligning with Israel, a thing which was unheard of from their predecessors and founding fathers of independence on the continent. South Africa too will not escape this. Colonial and post-colonial sentiments will fizzle out and new rulers will rush to embrace new partners, one of which will be Israel. You must remember the majority of the South African people are Christian, and that alone is a big luring factor,” Akinduro pointed out.

Dialogue moderator Professor Chris Landsberg of the University of Johannesburg highlighted that the chief architect of the apartheid policy, Dr. HF Verwoerd, knew his game and targeted the mind, education, and Bantustans to under-educate Africans. “Hence, today we have a person who calls himself a Coloured instead of an African, Gayton McKenzie, who is taking apartheid anger to fellow Africans from other states who happen to be less light-skinned than him to perpetuate the apartheid demon,” said Landsberg, chair of the South African Research Chairs Initiative at UJ.

The professor expressed concern about politicians in state resources and outside now competing against each other in this election. “This is a worrying phenomenon, and it goes to show you that there are no interests of the people at stake here but those of the politicians themselves,” Landsberg said at the end of the dialogue series.

Source: Fears abound of drastic foreign policy shift

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Picture: Screenshot from Facebook / Wits School of Governance

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